Sebelius wants female bloggers to raise insurance exchange awareness

Health insurance, pen and stethoscope

The Obama administration wants to tap the power of the women's blogosphere to raise knowledge of--and drum up support for--the new health insurance marketplaces launching this fall, the Associated Press reports.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius made the administration's pitch at the annual BlogHer conference in Chicago this weekend.

"I bet you more people could tell you the name of the new prince of England than could tell you that the health market opens Oct. 1," she said at the conference, the AP reports.

Sebelius told the audience of women bloggers in Chicago that uninsured Americans who know little about the healthcare law and how it will affect them want information from people they trust, according to the AP.

"One of the most trusted voices is mothers," Sebelius said at the conference. "We're trying to get a lot of information into women's hands because women often purchase the healthcare for their family ... With adult children they can be a very powerful and compelling voice."

The administration also has been recruiting celebrities and librarians to spread the word about new health insurance options, and is funding a $41 million national public-relations campaign managed by the PR firm Weber Shandwick, the article notes.

The feds also are issuing $684 million in grants to fund state-managed outreach programs, the AP notes. States don't have to accept the money, though. Texas, the state with the highest rate of uninsured residents, planned no outreach to educate residents about the new insurance marketplace.

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